Pensacola Symphony Orchestra - Peter Rubardt, Music Director Pensacola Symphony Orchestra - Peter Rubardt, Music Director

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20 years at the baton: Rubardt leads the Pensacola Symphony October 1, 2016

Dr. Peter Rubardt is celebrating his 20th season as music director of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra as the organization launches its 2016-17 season Saturday at the Saenger Theatre with a program featuring music of Dvořák, Sibelius, Ravel and Debussy. Rubardt, who was born in Berkeley, California, has been at the helm during the period of continuous growth experienced by the Symphony over the past two decades. He talked about what prompted him to pursue the position back in 1996. “At that stage of my career, like most people in this profession who are the age I was 20 years ago, I just needed a job,” he said. “Jobs are exceedingly hard to come by. In any given year, there might be a half-dozen jobs of this kind available in the country and, fortunately, I’m not looking for a job anymore, which is a really nice feeling. Part of it is as simple as that. I had finished four years as resident conductor of the New Jersey Symphony and four years as associate conductor of the Syracuse Symphony, which were both extremely valuable positions. I’m very grateful for everything I learned there from the players, audiences and staffs of those orchestras. Those were formative jobs for me, but you spend eight years being the No. 2 conductor, and suddenly, it’s like, if you don’t move right about that time, your career may end. There’s very little mobility in the field and the windows for moving are small.” -- Read more on PNJ.com

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Maestro Peter Rubardt Celebrates 20 Years With Pensacola Symphony Orchestra September 27, 2016

The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra will kick off the 2016-17 season with their Opening Night performance on this Saturday, October 1 at the Saenger Theatre. This will be the orchestra’s 20th season under the direction of Music Director Peter Rubardt. Prior to his appointment in Pensacola, Rubardt served four seasons as Associate Conductor of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and three seasons as Resident Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. When he got the job and arrived in Pensacola in 1996, he says he and his wife Hedi (Dr. Hedi Salanki-Rubardt), Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of West Florida and Yamaha Artist, had no idea that they would still be here 20 years later.-- Read more on WUWF.org

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Rubardt: Symphony's opening night will be festive September 24, 2016

There’s a passage deep in the third movement of Debussy’s masterful musical sketch "Iberia" that never fails to make me laugh out loud. It is a perfect example of what I love about the piece, what I love about the composer, and even — grandiose as this sounds — what I love about music. More about that passage later. It is just one of the countless brilliant musical moments that we’ll be celebrating when the Pensacola Symphony opens it’s 91st season on Oct. 1 at the Saenger Theatre.-- Read more on PNJ.com

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A Spectacular Evening March 31, 2016

A night with Pensacola Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is always a special occasion, but the upcoming Russian Spectacular performance is one not to miss, said Abigail Walker, a musician with PSO. “The music is rich and romantic,” said the bassoonist, who has been with PSO since 2007.

“Composers through the generations have been through such major political turmoil … some were even sent into exile for their music. I’m so fascinated by those who were writing it.”

Russian composers are a staple in the classical music world. PSO will be showcasing another Russian name, Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 10” later this month for its next performance.

Shostakovich exemplifies Walker’s point. The composer had a difficult relationship with the government. Much of his work was written under government-imposed requirements of Soviet art. It wasn’t until Joseph Stalin’s death that he could even publish some of the works he had kept secret.

More on INWeekly.com

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Rubardt: Tchaikovsky anchors Symphony's 'Spectacular' March 26, 2016

My first conducting teacher had strong ideas about repertoire. He was passionate about Debussy and Mahler, brilliant with works of the “Second Viennese School” (Schoenberg, Berg, Webern), and relished premiering complex new scores by local composers. Beethoven, Berlioz and Brahms were greatly revered. And I can’t remember him doing a single piece of Russian music. I never asked him why, but I doubt there was any dogmatic principal behind that; my guess is that the Russians just didn’t resonate with him.  More on PNJ.com

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Rubardt: Symphony schedules musical tour of Europe February 27, 2016

We all have a bit of wanderlust, a desire to explore the world and get fresh perspectives from other cultures. But just in case you don’t have a multi-national journey planned in the near future, there is another great way to expand your horizons. On March 5, the Pensacola Symphony will take a trip through Europe, hosted by four of our favorite composers. Along the way we’ll hear the folk melodies, see the landscapes, watch the dances and sample the legends that shaped these four distinct cultures. More on PNJ.com

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Digital Downtime with Christian Garman: Ashley Brown November 24, 2015

Christian Garman chats with Ashley Brown on his weekly podcast. Listen to it here!

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Ashley Brown comes 'Home for the Holidays' on Dec. 4. November 22, 2015

Ashley Brown speaks with Andrew Metzger of the Pensacola News Journal about her upcoming performance with the PSO. "I’ve gone away and done a lot of things, but I’ve never forgotten from where I came. I am so proud of my hometown. It is a great town that has put a lot of artists out into the world, and a lot of successful people in many other areas. I love coming back to Pensacola and collaborating with wonderful organizations I was involved with my whole childhood. I’m so excited to be coming home.” - more on PNJ.com

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Rubardt: Symphony's Brahms program will 'fill the soul' October 31, 2015

There is a famous quote from Felix Mendelssohn, a German composer from the mid 19th century: "People often complain that music is too ambiguous, that what they should think when they hear it is so unclear, whereas everyone understands words. With me, it is exactly the opposite…(Words) seem to me so ambiguous, so vague, so easily misunderstood in comparison to genuine music, which fills the soul with a thousand things better than words. The thoughts which are expressed to me by music that I love are not too indefinite to be put into words, but on the contrary, too definite" -- Read more on PNJ.com

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Another Reason To Love Pensacola: The Arts October 15, 2015

One of the enduring strengths of Pensacola is that it has a remarkable cultural arts infrastructure for a city its size. From the many art galleries to the museum of art,  the Little Theatre and the Opera, Pensacola showcases high quality shows and performances you might not expect to find, often showcased in the beautifully restored Saenger Theatre.

But the city’s primary cultural arts asset has to be the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, which recently opened its 90th season. That’s a remarkable run in a city featuring a downtown that has been left for dead more than once. Read more at WUWF.org

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